It’s Good Dolores Took My Advice

by Steve Dasseos, The Trip Insurance Guru on April 14, 2016

As you may recall when we spoke on Friday. I indicated that our children’s travel agent in South Africa was going to book our tickets. You told me that we would need to have proof of purchase that we ourselves bought the tickets for our May 3 – June 1, 2016 trip. My question is: If we buy the tickets through the South Africa travel agent with our credit card would that be adequate for the insurance purposes? Dolores

What Dolores emailed me above was the last in a series of calls and emails we had in February 2016 for her and her husband’s May 2016 trip. In case you want to skip to the answer without reading this, the answer is “Yes”.

Here’s the backstory: Delores and her husband wanted trip insurance to cover them for their trip to South Africa to visit their children. In order to make it simple, their children were going to buy the tickets in Delores and her husband’s name through their travel agent in South Africa. Delores and her husband were going to reimburse their children for the tickets after arriving in South Africa. Delores wanted to buy trip insurance for all the regular reasons to have it.

That sounds reasonable, right? It does, at first glance, until we reasoned out how a trip cancellation or trip interruption claim would work. Had Delores not called us, it’s possible she would have received the wrong advice. Situations like this look straightforward on the surface, but they are not.

The potential problem was how to prove that they had Prepaid, Non-refundable Trip Costs.

If something unexpectedly bad medically happened to either of them and their doctor saw them in person and said they can’t travel, then how would Delores and her husband prove that, they themselves, had prepaid and non-refundable trip costs? They would not have been able to prove this.

Perhaps I would have been able to convince one of my companies that they should not look at the “prepaid” requirement too literally, but why would I want a company that trusts me to bend / break its own rules? That will never happen. All my companies know that we will never sell a policy under false pretenses.

My solution for Delores was to buy the airline tickets through the South Africa travel agent with their own credit card. This establishes a clear paper trail for the money and the trip costs would have been prepaid.

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